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K-pop is one of these genres that’s broadly known and easy to identify, but quite tricky to define. Technically, its definition allows for a blend of just about any ‘conventional’ styles, from classical to electronic, in any quantities.
At the heart of it, though, most people think of K-pop as South Korea’s take on Western pop – taking the latter and putting a fresh, unconventional spin on it.
If that’s the case, then Sang Min Lim – sometimes known in the music industry simply as SANG – is a literal embodiment of the genre.
Sang Min Lim was born in South Korea and came to the U.S. at the age of 19. After studying economics at Brown University, he headed to Los Angeles to continue his education – taking law at the University of Southern California. While in L.A., he began modelling – take a look at his Instagram to immediately understand why – and dabbling in music production.
His debut single and music video, Fantasy, involved an appearance from the dancer and performer Dytto (known as ‘robo babe’), and was directed by CeCe Frey and Chase Stockman. This was barely a year ago – and Sang has already released three further singles since then. The latest of these, Levitate, has actually just come out.
Sang puts a South Korean twist on Western electronic and pop, and the lyrics to his songs include lines in both English and Korean. As such, it could be said that his music is as close to the definition of K-pop as we could get!
As a matter of fact, it was K-pop that inspired Sang Min Lim to pursue his dream of making music. Focused on his law studies and future career, spurred on by his family, he admits he let himself share their belief that the dream of becoming a pop star was an unrealistic one, a distraction. With the increasing popularity of K-pop around the world, however, he realised that he was in the perfect position to give music a real try.
In Sang’s own words: ‘I think both the US and Korea influenced me musically. When I was attending Brown University, I noticed that K-pop was gaining popularity through watching some of YouTube videos. After seeing that some of the songs that were in the Korean language were being featured in top song/album charts in the United States, it gave me a boost in confidence to pursue music.’
It’s lucky, then, that K-pop became popular at the time that it did – we wouldn’t have this talented young singer to listen to otherwise. So far, there’s no news on when Sang plans on releasing another single or an album, but Levitate as only just premiered, so let’s give it some time to make an impression.